Court documents containing statements from Rust director Joel Souza were released overnight following the accidental shooting and death of Halyna Hutchins last week. Alec Baldwin was reportedly rehearsing for a scene when the prop gun he was using fired projectiles that hit the cinematographer in the midsection.
The affidavit was obtained by the New York Times where Detective Joel Cano reportedly used it to obtain a search warrant “to seize everything from camera memory cards to bone fragments and firearm discharge”.
Juan Rios, spokesperson for the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office, told the publication: “Detectives entered the movie set today and continue to interview potential witnesses.
“Apparently there were quite a few people at the scene of what happened.”
Moments before the shooting, an image was taken of Baldwin and Hutchins practising a point and shoot scene inside a small church. The director was standing alongside Hutchins “viewing the camera angle” of Baldwin drawing the prop across this body and pointing it at the camera. That is when the weapon was fired and struck Hutchins. Souza was also wounded in the incident.
“Joel stated that they had Alec sitting in a pew in a church building setting, and he was practising a cross draw,” the affidavit reads.
“Joel said he was looking over the shoulder of Halyna, when he heard what sounded like a whip and then loud pop.
“Joel then vaguely remembers (Hutchins) complaining about her stomach and grabbing her midsection.
“Joel also said (Hutchins) began to stumble backwards and she was assisted to the ground.
“Joel explained that he was bleeding from his shoulder and he could see blood on Halyna.”
Past reports revealed that the gun was handed to Baldwin by assistant director Dave Halls who was told it was unloaded. He reportedly yelled, “cold gun”, before it was fired.
Souza is unsure if the gun was checked again after the crew had returned from a lunch break. The armourer who is responsible for the safe handling of prop weapons was Hannah Gutierrez Reed, aged 24. In a past report she was described as being “inexperienced” and had past complaints against her.
On social media, the chief electrician Serge Svetnoy for the film described holding Hutchins in his arms “while she was dying”.
“I do not wish anyone to go through what I went through, what her husband Matt Hutchins and her son Andros went through, and the actor Alec Baldwin, who has been handed a gun on set,” Syetnoy wrote on Instagram.
“He has to live with the thought that he took the life of the human because of unprofessional people.”
No one has been arrested over the incident as of yet.
At the weekend, Hailey Bieber – Baldwin’s niece – paid tribute to those involved in the tragedy on social media. Overnight, the actor’s wife Hilaria Baldwin also broke her silence on the accident via Instagram.
“My heart is with Halyna,” she wrote on Instagram. “Her husband. Her son. Their family and loved ones. And my Alec.”
“It’s said, ‘there are no words because it’s impossible to express shock and heartache of such a tragic accident. Heartbreak. Loss. Support.”
More to come.